My First Birth

April 30, 2010

I wasnt raised with kids around. In fact, my clearest memories from childhood about children are the fights my mom and dad had when my aunt would get pregnant. My aunt wouldnt tell anyone until she was 12 or 13 weeks, not even her sisters. My father always thought that was strange and cruel, a sign of her family’s true coldness. Maybe he even chalked it up to them being Jewish once or twice. But that’s what I remember about babies. They were kept a secret and it made my dad mad.

So last night, I was around for an entire birth. I wasnt, like, all up in the delivery room, but I was sleeping in chairs and peering into a nursery at other people’s children and waiting for the proud father to come into the waiting room and announce the birth.

She was checked into the hospital at 11:00PM and gave birth at 4:55. The baby was 8 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches long. There was less than 2 hours of pushing, I think.

At one point we were in the delivery room with everyone and the nurse was describing the security measures. When the child is born they place a GPS around its little ankle. All staff, and only the ones with a pink border around their picture, must push babies in carts, not carry them. Don’t take a shower and leave the baby alone in the room. You have a patio, but dont take the baby near the window because an alarm will go off.

Hearing that speech made me so sad and grossed out at the most essential level.

I also cried. Middle’s sil’s husband’s mom wept a graceful weep and hugged her son, which made me cry. Mine was a brief, quiet, ugly cry, I think, which no one noticed to the best of my noticing.

This whole baby thing throws me into wonderment and questioning around the circumstances of my own birth, about which I know essentially nothing. For example, Middle sil had 9 people in the waiting room; How many did my mom have?

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